THE launch of the Great Tapestry of Scotland gallery in Galashiels has sparked debate on the prevalence, or otherwise, of Scottish history (Gallery aims to boost knowledge of history, December 1).

It seems the symbolism of a tapestry has been missed, for Scottish history is intrinsically linked with local, regional, British, European and World history. A delicate balance has to be maintained and any attempt to tilt the balance can be seen as an overtly politicised act.

It is ironic that I spent part of my mid-career working with policy-makers and practitioners in post-war and “at threat of conflict” hotspots sharing multi-perspective curriculum design approaches. It now seems that concept, coined by Scots academic Professor Bob Stradling, is needed in our own country.

READ MORE: New Scottish national gallery aims to boost knowledge of history

Learners need to know local, national and global perspectives. It is the only way to ensure there is balance in viewing our history and that we don’t lose sight of the human stories in the clamour for nationalist narratives.

Effective pedagogies and progressive curricula will enhance knowledge of the past, not propaganda and politicisation.

History has been perverted in a number of ways recently. Social media coverage on Winston Churchill wrongly blames him for events in Glasgow’s George Square in 1919 and the 1940 St Valery surrender. This is despite substantial evidence to the contrary.

This week many celebrated St Andrew’s Day, but few will know there was once a green-and-white saltire. Our recent book Conquered By No One explores the lives of the1320 Arbroath sealants, revealing mixed motivations from patriotism to parochialism.

We must ensure parochialism does not ensue as we continue to acknowledge and develop Scotland’s great connections with the wider world.

Neil McLennan
Former President of Scottish Association of Teachers of History